Patel Nagar in Winter
Now that Patel Nagar warms up to the sun
Like generously buttered toasts
Patel Nagar is drenched with a spoonful of winter.
Its pure desi ghee spirit
Runs across unknown objects, tenants, strangers, and friends
So deep that you cannot scan it at Patel Nagar metro station
And caution people against its consequences
People in Patel Nagar line up at ATMs
And drink tea to Patel Nagar’s abandon
Trusting unknown rays of the sun
And seeing it turn into gold.
Patel Nagar at Night
Next time you enter around ten at night
You will see how Patel Nagar is buffering for the morning next in neon-signed food joints.
Mannequins stand rapt in attention
As you get out of the cab
And ask for change in halting Hindi
Parks, parlours, and phone booths
Stare at you exhibiting nightly loneliness
That cannot be salvaged with samosas
As shops are closed.
Patel Nagar on Fridays
Patel Nagar is full of Patel Nagar
Noodles, condiments, biscuits
Sweaters, shirts, and trousers
Shoppers in their labyrinths
Feel happy and oily
Like puffed up bhaturas
In woks larger than life and weekdays
So that I can say
All the world is a Friday market
And I must buy my wares.
- Knowing in Patel Nagar
I can smell my neighbour’s soap
Houses are that close in Patel Nagar
Antiseptics and detergents
As our bathrooms step onto each other
One day we might meet
Put faces to the non-white noise
Exchange borderline pleasantries
Without mentioning ‘I know you use Pears’.
As of now let’s not get bothered about
The sound of someone gargling or throwing up in another building
At 3 am.